It's getting noticeably lighter from one day to the next. We're gaining about 6 minutes of daylight right now, so it's quite obvious every day that the sun rises a little earlier, sets a little later. It's making me excited for the summer, and it's giving me a restlessness that I always feel at this time of year. There's an underlying anxiety that I've been feeling--not of bad things to come, but of good things that I'm anxious to hurry along. The daylight whispers that Spring is right around the corner, that soon I won't have to bundle myself in layer upon layer to step outside, that I'll be able to ditch the boots in favor of sandals, that I'll feel truly (as opposed to artificially) warm once again. It's a sweet siren song and I'm responding to it.
The first afternoon that I could still see the sunset during my walk home from work, I stood on the snowy hill for a moment, silently rejoicing. It was breathtakingly beautiful, with the deep red over the mountains in the distance, the nearly full moon on my other side, and the deep blue sky which the snow responded to by appearing as a lighter blue. It was one of those snapshots in time that makes me think, yes. I want to hold this in my heart forever, the joy and the beauty of now. One perfect, gorgeous moment in life.
As I get older, the days pass faster and faster. I know that really, Spring won't come until sometime in May, five long months away. But my heart doesn't listen, instead reminding me that it's already been almost six months since my wedding, which seems like it was yesterday. Spring, with Summer quick on her heels, will be here soon enough. And then the marathon that is Winter will become the sprint of Summer. I'll be running and rushing with hardly a moment to catch my breath or to stop and reflect. It's an entirely different kind of joy than winter brings.
I think that this anxiousness is necessary. It helps me to prepare for the short summer, to remind me of all the tasks I need to get completed before then. The dark season ends, and with it the slowness and lethargy of early winter. I want to be out and doing, not sitting around.
But sitting indoors is what I've been forced to do. The extreme cold of these past weeks have kept us housebound for the most part. I haven't even gotten to take the dog for more than two short walks because of worries that it's too cold for her. (It is--she loves walks but during the last two we took, the most excitement from her was when she realized that we were headed home.) So we fill our days with tasks that will be put off during the summer. I've already read 6 books this month, we've been visiting with friends and cooking and playing indoor games with the animals. I've even been watching TV shows. I'm trying to savor the slow season even as I prepare for the fast one. And to remind myself that patience is a virtue. The light returns in its own time. Spring and Summer will come in their time, on their own terms. All I can do is wait, prepare, and anticipate. It's such a sweet longing.